Former Madison Borough police officer James Haspel has been sentenced to six years in prison. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to a criminal accusation charging him with second-degree attempted endangering the welfare of a child (attempted distribution of child pornography).

In pleading guilty, Haspel admitted that he engaged in Internet communications in which he solicited a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl to send him a nude photo of herself.  In reality, the person was an undercover detective of the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit.

“It is shocking that a police officer would communicate online in a sexually explicit way with someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl,” says State Attorney General Paula Dow. “He betrayed his badge as well as any standard of decency.”

“This prison sentence sends a strong deterrent message to online predators,” says Division of Criminal Justice Director Stephen Taylor “Sexual predators may attempt to use the anonymity of the Internet to commit crimes, but law enforcement will use that same anonymity to catch them. I commend the specialists in computer crime who handled this case for the Division of Criminal Justice and New Jersey State Police.”